Data Center Trends: Shifting Workloads & Skillsets

April 07, 2016 3 min Read

Technology is ever-changing. New advances are made all of the time and IT professionals have to enhance their skill sets to keep up with the technological changes. Included in the advancement is the traditional data center, which have adopted cloud computing, IaaS, colocation and more. In order to offer these newer technologies, data center employees will need to update their skills and workloads will need to be revised and changed according to the new tech requirements.

Data center employees need to switch from more of a “racking and stacking” mind set to knowing automation, security, networking and more. This is true whether you’re running an internal data center or housing your data with a third-party provider. The job set and possibly job site is growing as technology grows.

Shift in Workload

The shift to cloud computing transfers some lower-level administrative work to the cloud hosting provider, allowing company employees to focus on strategic business priorities, but it also creates new tasks related to network and security that didn’t exist before.

Some of the company’s data center management tasks include incorporating disaster recovery and security into their cloud-based strategy and architecture. This often means purchasing additional services from the cloud provider, so learning the features of these Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solutions is a new task for the employee. Another task is setting up the firewall and assessing and assigning the level of access to your network through the third-party firewall.

New Staffing Needs

Internal IT employees may get nervous when they learn their company is migrating to the cloud as they believe their jobs could be in jeopardy, but that is not necessarily the case. More than likely, their job roles will refocus to more strategic pursuits.

According to Tamara Budec, VP of design and construction at Digital Realty, “the traditional role of the enterprise IT professional is becoming multifaceted. Workloads will move around in hybrid internal/external IT environments. For example, the network engineer and application engineer will be one and the same job. The border between cloud computing and networking infrastructure will start to blur, as the distinction between networks and what connects to the cloud disappears. This will require skill sets to merge between telecommunication and cloud computing engineers.” (Quoted from “Trends Shift Data Center Workloads,” Data Center Management, Digital Issue 2015.)

Companies may not need staffers to handle physical equipment, but they may still need to maintain the operating system and experts to handle application management. This gives employees an opportunity to update their skill sets through additional technical training such as automation frameworks, software defined networking and other areas of innovation.

At Expedient, we place a high value on continued education and training for all technical employees. It is important to grow and learn in order to remain at the forefront of technological advances, so our customers can retain their competitive positions by focusing on their differentiators. Find more information on our data centers and managed services.

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